Nuclear Safety Division
The Nuclear Safety Division conducts a comprehensive nuclear power plant oversight review program of the nine reactors at the five nuclear power sites in Pennsylvania. It also monitors the activities associated with management and disposal of low-level radioactive waste in Pennsylvania and provides planning and support for Bureau of Radiation Protection response to incidents involving nuclear power plants and/or radioactive materials in Pennsylvania. The Radiation Protection Act (1984-147) established a fee system which requires the nuclear utilities in Pennsylvania to pay for the costs associated with the implementation of the nuclear power plant oversight and emergency response programs.
Contacting the Nuclear Safety Division:
- Phone: 717-787-2163
- Fax: 717-783-8965
To email the Nuclear Safety Division please see the
DEPs contact page.
2020 Radiation Protection Act Report of the General Assembly Pursuant to Act 31 of 2007 (PDF)
TMI Unit-2 License Transfer
DEP has been monitoring the transfer of the license for TMI Unit 2 (TMI2) from GPU/First Energy to TMI2 Solutions. DEP will continue to work with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and TMI2 Solutions throughout the decommissioning process. This effort includes monthly project review meetings with the NRC project staff. DEP receives a quarterly project activity report from TMI2 Solutions. Additionally, DEP’s Bureau of Radiation Protection staff regularly attend the Citizens Advisory Panel meetings and the Decommissioning Nuclear Safety Review Board meetings for TMI2. The transfer of the license following the permanent closure of a nuclear power plant (NPP) has happened in other states, where a new firm becomes the licensee, they obtain financial resources in the NPP decommissioning fund, and then begins immediate clean-up. Typically the operators of NPPs in the United States do not have the skill sets for plant dismantlement and clean-up, and it is more cost effective to transfer the NPP and decommissioning fund to a firm that has such experience. This appears to be the case with the proposed TMI2 transfer. The U.S. NRC is the federal agency that issues an operating license to all commercial NPPs and regulates the decommissioning. In 1979, TMI Unit-2 was subject to the worst commercial NPP accident in U.S. history, and has vast areas inside the facility with radiological contamination that has not been fully characterized. In late March 2020, the NRC published in the Federal Register a Notice (FRN) that they would accept comments on a proposed license transfer prior to their review. The FRN also opened a period for any person affected to request a hearing before the NRC’s Atomic Safety & Licensing Board. In early April 2020, the DEP Secretary sent a formal letter to the NRC Chairman, DEP also submitted formal comments, and requested an extension for the timeline to file for a hearing based on the Governor’s stay at home Order. DEP contends it is unable to craft a hearing request given the current stay at home situation. The Commonwealth’s major concerns related to the TMI2 Unit-2 license transfer are: the unknown levels of radiological contamination within the facility; that uncertainty impacting estimated volumes of various classes of low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) and the respective total LLRW disposal cost; appropriate worker, environmental and public protection during decommissioning; adequacy of current and future available funds; and, ultimate corporate liability for clean-up should the licensee fall short in funding once work has commenced.
The Nuclear Safety Division has established a comprehensive nuclear power plant oversight review program at the five nuclear power sites in Pennsylvania. This oversight responsibility includes routine site visits and safety review activities, review of all license amendments, evaluation of generic and specific nuclear safety issues and participation in nuclear power plant emergency exercises.
Nuclear Safety, Associated Agencies & Organizations:
DEP/BRP Issued Fact Sheets on Nuclear Safety: